Chef Duke LoCicero (right) and Sous Chef Michael Mehiel welcome you to the operatic CAFE GIOVANNI.


1246 Franklin Ave. 942-1100

This Bywater favorite serves up pork ribs, beef ribs and chicken, all smoked and grilled to perfection and slathered with barbecue sauce. It may be messy, but it's worth it. Side dishes include candied yams, jambalaya, baked macaroni and potato salad. Lunch delivery available for orders of $30 or more. Lunch and dinner daily. Cash only. $


4243 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie 887-5000

Oh, that Memphis barbecue! Get your pork ribs spicy and dry or wet and slathered with slightly sweet barbecue sauce. For those whose idea of heaven isn't a pulled pork sandwich with a side of baked beans, there are also hamburgers, chicken and seafood dishes. Delivery available. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $


1200 S. Clearview Pkwy., Harahan 734-7428

'The grill is on' at this local outpost of the national chain of casual American dining. Join the crowd around the TVs cheering on the Hornets whenever the game's on. Try the barbecue ribs or the Prime rib, the latter of which is served either in 12-oz. or 16-oz. portions. No reservations. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $$


208 Tullulah Ave., River Ridge


Regulars say the Kentucky hickory is what makes the slow-smoked ribs, pork and beef brisket so flavorful and delicious. Almost as popular on Tuesdays is the whopping three-quarter pound Smoky Mountain burger. Owner Larry Wyatt says the demand for the highly praised potato salad is hard to keep up with, so order yours before it's gone. No reservations. Lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday. Credit cards and checks. $


311 Decatur St. 525-1011

Silky O'Sullivan's has daily lunch specials, most under $8. The Memphis-style barbecue ribs are dry-rubbed and apple-and-hickory smoked, and the meat in the brisket po-boy and pulled pork po-boys has been smoked for 13 hours. Wash it all down with a Cajun Bloody Mary, made with Inferno vodka. Reservations accepted. Lunch, dinner and late-night daily. Credit cards. $$


1000 E. James Blvd, St. Rose


1501 St. Charles Ave. 522-4647

8853 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie 496-0005

A fourth Pontchartrain Boulevard location is currently closed for renovations, but the other three area Voodoos are ready with the restaurants' signature take on the classic barbecue staples, including pulled pork, beef brisket and pork ribs, with sides such as coleslaw, baked beans and corn pudding. No reservations. Counter service at all locations except James Boulevard, which offers full table service. Lunch and dinner daily. Credit cards. $